Looking back

Tomorrow makes 11 months that we have been married. Tomorrow is one year from the day that we drove out to our ceremony site and buried a bottle of bourbon (upside down, at the exact spot and time that we were to get married). Southern tradition tells you that you’ll have good weather on your wedding day if you do this (Southern tradition lied in our case but didn’t ruin the day!).

Having been almost an entire year, I’ve been sentimental and looking back at all of the photos leading up to our big day. Such as trying on dresses:

Engagement parties:

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Doing hair and make-up trials:

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Getting our marriage license in middle-of-nowhere SC and realizing we wouldn’t have an NC marriage license:

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Bachelorette parties (yes, multiple):

Bridal portraits in Blacksburg so I had a piece of “home” included in the wedding:

Rehearsing, and letting go of all of my stress the day before the wedding. Obviously, my groom wasn’t stressing either ;)

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Hard to believe it’s been almost a year and we’re already planning a getaway to celebrate our anniversary. We’ve certainly had some high-stress times with my grandfather leaving us, buying a new home and finding renters for our other home, LW taking a traveling job, fostering puppies (this was only stressful for the hubs, the puppy breath made it okay for me!). And we’ve had some really amazing times going to concerts, museums, hiking, traveling to PA, MD, VA, IL, FL, MA… and of course Aruba, buying a 2nd home, eating at a gazillion delicious restaurants, running 5ks together, and enjoying being husband and wife. So grateful for the memories we’ve made and looking forward to a hundred more years of them, and having this guy by my side.

 

Giveaways Galore!

I might be a bit of a giveaway junkie, well, when it’s for something that I would otherwise buy. This week has been FILLED with giveaways for things like craft beer VIP tickets, books,  running shoes, Jack Rogers, and monogrammed EVERYTHING. Naturally, I have entered all of them and am patiently waiting for my name to be called (or in our new social world, to be “posted” somewhere). I’m happy to share these awesome giveaways with you so that you can have your very own chance to win!

Craft beer for you Charlotteans (or folks close enough to drive): Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is opening their new Brew Haus on 8/15. Your chance for VIP tickets, free beer for a year and fun with friends can be claimed here!

Jack Rogers and Persifor Giveaway (ends Monday 7/14): Claim your shot at the perfect summer shoes by entering here!

Southern Weddings magazine: (ends 7/31) monogrammed goodness, along with another shot at Jack Rogers! You definitely don’t want to miss out on this summer goody bag, enter here!

Marley Lilly monogrammed goodness: At Marley Lilly, you can decide what you want to put your initials on, or you can put them on everything! Enter here for $100 dollars to spend at Marley Lilly. Ends in 9 days!

I’d love to know which giveaway is your favorite and if you decided to enter! Good luck to everyone, hopefully you’ll be walking around in Jack Rogers with a monogrammed bag, necklace and beach hat and sipping on an Olde Meck Captain Jack next time I see you!

Friends, Fireworks and the Fourth of July!

Hope everyone had an enjoyable 4th of July! We were fortunate to get to hang out with our friends, enjoy lots of sunshine and have a front-row seat for the fireworks (Thanks, Seth!). My husband wasn’t traveling this week since there was a holiday, so we got to spend lots of time together at home. We watched some funny movies, did some yardwork and took our boys to the Whitewater Center for a 3-mile hike. While I think his current job is a great career move, the boys and I miss him when he’s gone during the week and we’re thankful for the weeks when we get to have him at home with us.
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On Wednesday (the 2nd), I did NoDa Run Club in the sweltering heat. I ended up running 3.75 miles which was pretty good for me because I haven’t been focusing on my running lately. I joined a new HIIT gym and am hoping to see results from it that I’m no longer seeing from running.

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However, my love of running is pushing me to sign up for the distance challenge offered in Charlotte. It’s a combination of races, starting with a 5k and building up to a half marathon or full marathon. Clearly, I would do the half because I have no desire to do a full but I haven’t signed up just yet. Our boys donned their patriotic bandanas on our walks over the weekend and one obviously enjoyed it more than the other.

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On the 4th, we went to the Plaza Midwood Pig Pickin’ with two other couples and their adorable children. The weather was absolutely fantastic in Charlotte, so we had the perfect day to be hanging out outside.

4thofjulyfriendsGrown up jobs, kids (not ours!), and busy lives in general make it hard to get together as often as we’d all like, but we’re so thankful when we are all able hang out. I’m especially thankful for the friendship that these girls offer and that they live in Charlotte. Having had the same “best friends” for most of my life and not having any of them in Charlotte was tough when I first moved here; finding awesome friends who share common interests made the transition much easier!

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LW and I wore our most patriotic outfits for America’s birthday. This was the 8th photo that was taken of us before we finally nailed one where we were both smiling.

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We headed over to our friend’s condo uptown as it started to get dark. We were given a front-row seat to the fireworks from his balcony. We arrived with Prosecco, chocolate chip cookies (with M&Ms) and patriotic cheesecake squares (I added blueberries for a red, white and blue treat!). We got there in time to see this stunning sunset over the new Knights stadium.

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The fireworks show was incredible. There were several times we thought it was over and then a new round of sparkly explosions would occur. The flood of people in the streets and from the stadium was incredible. We could see fireworks beyond the stadium as well, all over the city and surrounding areas there were pops of lights on the horizon. It was absolutely amazing – especially from that vantage point!

And I can’t forget to share this photo of two of my favorite people in Charlotte. Seth moved here around the same time as me (6 years ago!). He’s been such a good friend to me over the years and never fails to make me laugh. He introduced us to Scott and we quickly learned that Scott is also awesome and quite the chef!

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We managed to pack a ton of fun into our week and weekend together and I wouldn’t change a thing. We ate at several of our favorite local restaurants, went to a baseball game, and spent time with friends which was one of our “resolutions” for the new year (to do MORE of this and not say “no” when someone asks). Back to the grind today and waiting for the next holiday week…. is it Labor Day yet?

Growing together!

When we bought our new house, we walked around the backyard talking about where we would put our garden and we found the perfect spot, right in the sun and against our white picket fence.

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We could have probably planned a little more real-estate for said garden but it’s doing just fine for the zucchini, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs that we planted. We had also planted spinach since I go through about a pound a week but a rabbit dug it up and stole it. The whole plant. Gone.

It’s been so fun to come home in the afternoons (especially after a big rain) and see how much everything has grown. And secretly hoping that my tomatoes have ripened. There’s nothing better than a tomato straight from the garden.

This week, our squash and zucchini have grown tremendously and I was finally able to pick some.

And we were able to pick our first blackberry (actually we got the 2nd one, a bird stole the first one).

We’re not trying to live off the land or anything but we do enjoy having fresh veggies and fruit when we want; and I use our herbs almost every day for our meals, er, my meals since my husband is traveling and will see these photos at the same time as the rest of the world (and I will have devoured the squash and zucchini by the time he gets home).

A few more days before our tomatoes are ready, maybe even early next week. Several are about the size of my fist, and we have about 15 more that are growing by the day. I’m just so excited to have this many already growing – we didn’t have much luck at our old place, maybe getting 5 tomatoes all season.

And ta-da, our very first zucchini (first one I’ve ever grown!). The last picture is to give my husband an idea of the size.

I remember my grandfather building a garden plot for us when I was younger but contrary to the image growing up on a farm provides, I really have never been much of a “dig in the dirt” kind of girl. Now? I love it. We are already planning next year’s garden, but so very excited to enjoy this one THIS year.

The great closet clean-out!

Since we’ve attended so many weddings over the past 5 years (this week is our 5 year anniversary), I’ve accumulated an overwhelming amount of dresses (some still with tags). I will post all of the dresses below along with size, fabric and price. Shipping will be $5.00 for one, $7.00 for two, $8.00 for 3. Comment on the post with your paypal email address and which dress you want and I’ll send you and invoice and ship all items that are paid for by Friday of this week. All items are in excellent condition (most only worn once) and will be noted if they are New With Tags (NWT). So here we go:

**This has been fairly successful in selling my dresses, so I’m adding a few more items to the page. Happy shopping!**

Victoria's Secret bra top dress | SMALL | Worn once | $18

Victoria’s Secret bra top dress | SMALL | Worn once | $18

Express fit & flare| Small | $20 (VERY FLATTERING!)

Express fit & flare| Small | $20 (VERY FLATTERING!)

J Crew | size 0 | Periwinkle | EUC | $15

J Crew | size 0 | Periwinkle | EUC | $15

 

 

NWT J Crew Nautical Skirt | size 2 | Navy/Red | $25 (Paid almost $50)

NWT J Crew Nautical Skirt | size 2 | Navy/Red | $25 (Paid almost $50) – PENDING

NEW Victoria's Secret | Hot pink stripes | Small | Liner still in place | $12

NEW Victoria’s Secret | Hot pink stripes | Small | Liner still in place | $12

Banana Republic Scarf | Turquoise polka dots | $8

Banana Republic Scarf | Turquoise polka dots | $8 – PENDING

Old Navy - Small - $12 (worn once on honeymoon)

Old Navy – Small – $10

Lilly Pulitzer - 8 *ALTERED for approx. size 4* Measurements: Armpit to Armpit: 17", under bust 15", waist 15", length 34" - $60

Lilly Pulitzer – size 8 *ALTERED for approx. size 4* Measurements: Armpit to Armpit: 17″, under bust 15″, waist 15″, length 34″ – $60

Ann Taylor Loft patterned Chambray shorts - size 2 - NWT - $15

Ann Taylor Loft patterned Chambray shorts – size 2 – NWT – $15

 

Banana Republic - Size 0 - NWT - $20 (paid 45)

Banana Republic – Size 0 – NWT – $15 (paid 45)

Banana Republic (not Factory) | 4P | $30

Banana Republic (not Factory) | 4P | $25

Anthropologie - Burlapp | Small | Polyester Blend

Anthropologie – Burlapp | Small | Polyester Blend | $20

Banana Republic | size 2 | Silk/Polyester - $20

Banana Republic | size 2 | Silk/Polyester – $15

J Crew | size 2 | Silk Taffeta Blakely from Wedding Collection

J Crew | size 2 | Silk Taffeta | $70
Blakely from Wedding Collection

BCBG Maxazaria | XS | 100% silk | $25

BCBG Maxazaria | XS | 100% silk | $28

Lilly Pulitzer | size 4 | 100% Cotton | $50

Lilly Pulitzer | size 4 | 100% Cotton | $50 $40

All items come from smoke free home. Items are also listed for sale on other sites and will be removed if sold. Nothing like new dresses at discount prices! Happy Shopping!

My Best Friend’s Wedding(s)

This is definitely the year of weddings for us. We have been invited to 7 and have already attended 3. At this point, I would consider us professional wedding guests/party members.

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Two of the three weddings this year were for my best friends from high school. I’m lucky to be able to still call these girls friends and that we have maintained our friendship over the years. Amy had a blissful beach wedding in Ocean Isle and Brittney had a rustic chic farm wedding just outside of Blacksburg, VA. Both of them were stunning and amazing and absolutely perfect.

Amy’s gorgeous beach details were simple yet classy. I love the DIY touches of painted wood and chalkboards everywhere. She even had a signature cocktail served during the cocktail hour. My favorite part was her lace dress. It was absolutely exquisite and was clearly made for her.

I couldn’t be happier for Clay and Amy as they sealed the deal 10 years after meeting. Their day was truly a decade in the making and absolutely perfect.

Brittney’s wedding was also perfect, but the complete opposite of the beachy setting Amy had. Brittney got married at Sinkland Farms in Virginia. Hilariously enough, we used to go to parties there when we were in high school. There are several spots at the farm to get married, and Brittney chose up on the hill with the mountains in the background.

10441149_10100879461768673_7720758303346916939_nChalkboards are still in style for weddings, obviously, and what great decorations they make. Brittney gave us the most darling robes for being her bridesmaids, which we donned as we had our hair and make up done.

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We each picked our own style of dress from J Crew’s silk chiffon collection in ‘Bright Coral.’

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The flower girl was Brittney’s 22-month old daughter who is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

The barn is already so well decorated, it’s an easy choice for the reception. My favorite piece is the mason jar chandelier! Brittney used coral roses and sparkly white table cloths on the tables, and whisky barrels outside also held mason jars full of roses.

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A local country band performed at the reception and guests danced the night away. I must say, early summer weddings have had perfect weather. These two couldn’t have asked for a better day to say their vows outside.

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And to top off the evening, my Hokie-loving husband and I snagged a picture with non-other than Frank Beamer. Such a special evening for special friends.

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So happy for both of my sweet friends and grateful to have been a part of their celebrations. From 15 to forever!

Home sweet home!

I haven’t blogged in a while due to trying to get the new blog up and running, work travel, wedding season, and of course, life in general. This week I’m lucky enough to have my husband home with me since it’s a “holiday week” and next week too, since we’re traveling the East coast to participate in the weddings of two of our dearest friends. We’ve been busy trying to make the most of our time together and having a little “Staycation”: Saturday we did yard work and unpacked our office, Sunday we had a cookout with friends, Monday we hiked Crowder’s Mountain and today we are grabbing some wedding gifts, doing homework and museum hopping! Since we’ve spent so much time on the house lately, I wanted to invite you inside for a tour (it’s mostly unpacked at this point!).

houseThis weekend, my husband bought and put together two rocking chairs for us which almost completes our front porch. Still hoping to get my hands on my grandfather’s glider for the other side, but if not, we’ll put a porch swing up. Either way, we’ll be spending lots of time out there rocking, swinging or gliding together.

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Once you come in the house, you walk right into the living room. The open floor plan of the house is one of the things that we loved most when we saw it the first time. And of course, all of the windows with plantation shutters.

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Our corner China cabinet in our dining room is one of our favorite purchases thus far (behind the king-size bed and our plush couches). This piece fits perfectly in the room, almost as if it was made for it and does a stunning job of displaying our China and LW’s grandmother’s China.

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The red kitchen cabinets were not my favorite part upon moving in the house (or purchasing it) but they are growing on me. They definitely brighten up the room, and get people talking when they come over.

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Our kitchen leads out to our screened in porch, which is arguably our favorite place in the whole house, but before we go there, let’s visit the other side of the house. Our dogs have lucked out with the spare bedroom and have chosen to sleep on a queen size bed together instead of their dog beds. We have some work to do in this room still but the boys are happy to share a picture with you.

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Our spare bath sits between the guest bedroom and our office, along with our coat closet, a linen closet and access to our attic. Did I mention how much storage space is in this house?

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I was so happy when we unpacked the office. Books, stationary and inspirational prints, oh my! We had to set up a dual-office due to our working from home. Luckily, we have very little crossover on days that we are actually both working from home. We love the large window that looks out into our backyard.

My inspiration wall is one of my new favorite things in the house! Sweet phrases encouraging me to follow my dreams, be grateful, and always choose happiness are absolute perfection!

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Our master suite is large, but still cozy. I miss my extra large walk-in closet from our old house (it was the size of a small bedroom), but our new closet has lots of shelving which helps. The bathroom is deceivingly large and seems to go on forever. My favorite part? The deep tub with it’s tile ledge which holds wine perfectly during bubble baths!

Upgrading to a king-size bed was the best decision we made. We love the mattress/boxspring combo that we chose and our bedroom set from IKEA. We seem to always gravitate towards the Hemnes collection with it’s modern, yet classy look.

And of course, our favorite spot: the screen-in porch. We love watching the birds eat from feeders, having dinner while the sun sets or sipping morning coffee in this serene space. It’s what dreams are made of!

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We of course love the backyard too, and for more than just the dog’s enjoyment. Our garden is doing so well, as are our blackberries and blueberries! We use herbs from the garden in just about every meal, mainly mint, basil and cilantro.

We have had such an amazing time seeing what the previous owner’s planted. We have of course added our own hydrangeas, irises, azaleas, and a fox glove. My husband has quite the green thumb.

Our home is absolutely perfect for us. We are so glad to have found it and been the winning bid on it! Hope you love it, too!

 

 

 

Monday Must-Haves!

First of all, happy marathon monday! Hopefully,  you’re planning on live-streaming the marathon this morning. Secondly, I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend (hopefully spent with family, faith and food!). My husband and I attended a new church this weekend and we really loved it’s mission:

“We seek to build a diverse, intentional, affirming community animated by joyful worship and called forth into social action for service to the greater good.

We seek to hear God’s call not only as individuals but also as a progressive, missional community striving to reflect the Kingdom of God in the here and now.

We embrace the rich history of the Reformed Tradition and the storied past of our once-prominent, center-city church, as we welcome a diverse, urban community of seekers –  young and old, gay and straight, rich and poor, of all races and ethnicities.

We are called into a meaningful, transformative community that values the unique blessings and perspectives of each member and offers a place of welcome and healing to weary souls.

We seek dynamic servant leaders who serve humbly, embrace change, and boldly challenge injustices in the wider community.

Most important, we seek to proclaim the Gospel in both word and deed, following the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 8.54.21 AMWe started off our Easter morning with some heavenly baked oatmeal. I used peaches and blueberries but you can use any fruit that your heart desires. I also swapped the milk for coconut milk. This was a hearty breakfast for us, would make a great addition to any breakfast or brunch spread if you’re cooking for a group!

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After church, we had lunch with my brother and his family, and our mom who came to visit. My nephew LOVED my first attempt at carrot cake (I’m the queen of not trying recipes before I make them for an event, so far so good!). He walked around asking for more cake from everyone after he finished the piece we were “sharing.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 8.54.39 AMA fine weekend if I do say so myself! The husband is off to Chicago this week and I’m headed to Boston for an overnight on Wednesday. Quick trip to finalize details on a project and then back home on Thursday for our last weekend before wedding season starts!  So, for my Monday Must-Haves:

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#1: FitBit – it doesn’t matter whether you have the FitBit One or FitBit Zip, or any of the other options, any of them will motivate you to MOVE. I have the “zip” and it calculates my steps taken, calories burned, and mileage for the day. You can add a food diary in your app which will help with the caloric data. You’re supposed to take 10,000 steps a day (or around 5 miles), having this little device attached to you will certainly push you to get closer to that number. I hook mine on my pants or skirt each day (or on my bra if I’m wearing a dress), it’s easy to conceal!

#2: Herbal Essences Naked Shampoo: You can grab this at any drugstore or Target. I picked it up over the weekend and couldn’t believe how clean my hair felt after using it. Also, the volumizing aspect is actually there. I usually use Aveda products to make my hair perk up (or Big Sexy Hair What a Tease Back Comb in a Bottle for special events), but for every day use, this shampoo does a great job. Highly recommend it for only $4 a bottle!

#3: Beach Body 21 Day Fix:  If you’re able to be productive while working out at home, and capable of jumping around, I highly recommend this workout system. You get 3 discs of workouts, including: cardio, plyo, yoga, pilates, upper/lower body and other variations. The workouts are only 30 minutes each, and that includes a warm up and post workout stretch. If you also follow the meal plan that comes with this system, you’ll certainly see results. If you can’t follow the diet but need a quick workout in your life, it’s still an effective fitness plan.

#4: J.R. Watkins Hand Soap: When we moved in our new house, I grabbed a couple bottles of the aloe & green tea soap from Target, not knowing what a hit it would be! Everyone who comes out of our guest bath comments on how excellent it smells. Plus, it’s in a cute bottle so you don’t even need to transfer it to a soap-dispenser!

#5: Shark Navigator: my mom got us this vacuum for Christmas and it has literally been a God-send. We use it CONSTANTLY (in lieu of sweeping). Having two dogs who insist on shedding year-round, this is the quickest way to spiffy up the house – and it has settings for hardwoods or carpet. (Thanks, Ma!)

#6: Brita Water Bottle: this guy is my constant companion. Easy for grabbing water essentially anywhere, including airports – and not feeling gross. You see, it filters the water before you drink it. No need to purchase water bottles anymore if you have this one, you can fill it up anytime and be on your merry way!

Happy Monday! Try to make someone else’s day happy while increasing your own happiness!

Let it go

Sorry for all you Frozen fans, this post will not be about the beloved movie, but I do have it on my list of films to watch. Letting things go can make you a happier person. It seems pretty simple, but we all tend to harbor a little resentment about something, maybe hold a grudge over something that happened years ago, or can’t shake that angry feeling after being cut off in traffic. Unfortunately, even though you may be right in your feelings at the time, it doesn’t impact the other person the way it does you.

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My husband says I will die on my principles. He also says that sometimes I spend too much energy trying to prove a point. Anyone else do this? When I know I’m right, I want to make sure that others do, too. In fact, I rarely shout out answers unless I am 150% sure that I’m correct. But when I’m not listened to, not given credit, or someone argues (when I KNOW I am right), I tend to get ready for battle on the subject and continue trying to prove the point. I am also a sharer. Over the weekend, I shared a terrible experience with a local Charlotte Photographer. This photographer asked me to model some poses for her so she could practice them, and in exchange she would give me free headshots. Felt like a good trade-off at the time. I spent almost two hours in her home studio on February 23, 2014. I waited until March 3rd to ask her when I might get the photos and she responded that I would have them by the weekend (3/7). Without going through all the details and multiple times I attempted to contact her after that without response, I decided to share the story on social media. Upon doing so, I found others who had similar experiences with this photographer and also found reviews online of her poor communication and terrible customer service. The social media got her attention (as it often does). Within an hour, I had 9 shares of one tweet to almost 2500 followers. How’s that for a PR nightmare for a small business? My goal was not to cause the nightmare for her, it was to bring attention to how she was treating me (and other customers), and to get her attention on the subject. She responded (threatening legal action for my libelous truthful comments) and told me that she had lost my images and wouldn’t be able to provide them. She did offer a new session and that I could sit there while she edited the photos and get them then and there. A) I don’t have time for that B) I don’t care to work with her and C) I don’t think her work could be that good based on the rest of her business practices. The point is not about the photographer here, the point is about how much time and energy I wasted on this person. Time, reviews and word of mouth will sink her business, and I didn’t need to spend part of my weekend putting forth the effort I did. My husband told me to let it go and if I still wanted headshots, go to someone who is a little more professional and just pay fo them (great idea!).

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It’s not just with the photographer that I do this. If I have a bad day, I tend to think (and over think) what happened, who was involved and who should be responsible. I think we’re all a little guilty of this on some level. In order to be happy, we have to let go of those moments that steal our happiness. Let go of bad days, angry phone calls with your cable company, that driver who swerved in front of you, the TSA agent who slowed you down, and be more forgiving overall. Try to understand where others are coming from before you get worked up or upset. A lot of times we interpret things differently than the person speaking to us meant them. Maybe that text that said “fine” actually meant “that’s a good plan. I’m fine with it!” and not that they hated the idea. Trying not to jump to conclusions can help with our attitude and level of happiness. Try to assume that people always have the best intentions (without being completely naive), and see how that effects your outlook. Try to let go of any grudges you may be holding onto. Forgive people, especially for those things that really no longer matter. The longer you hold onto something, the more important it seems, but in reality, it’s just a tiny blip on your map of life. Just has happiness trumps money, happiness wins in the attitude arena. Take a deep breath, stop proving points until you’re short of breath, forgive, spend your energy doing something you love instead, and let it go.

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Choosing Happiness

I’ve been reading a lot of books on marriage, happiness, change and if anything has resonated with me it’s that you can CHOOSE to be HAPPY. When something doesn’t go your way, you have the option to huff and puff, tell everyone you know about it and be worked up for the rest of the day, or you can choose to not let it bring you down. In reality, that person who uploaded something incorrectly for you on the form that you created, probably just did it wrong and wasn’t actually trying to sabotage your work. Maybe the person who cut you off on your drive to work wasn’t trying to cause an accident but was running late because their kid forgot their lunch box and they had to go home and get it. Trying to focus on the big picture can help you determine if that one incident really matters and if it should send your day in a downward spiral. I’m guessing 95% of the time, it won’t matter in a week and your heart would be better off if you hadn’t spend that time griping about it.

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I’m working on doing what makes me happy. We all have a lot of things that have to get done, but we don’t have to spend all of our time doing those and none doing what will brighten our lives until we’re done with the “have-to” list. It should be a compromise on how we spend our time. For me, there’s nothing better than a good run. If I had to make a list of other ways to get instant happiness in my life, I’d say:

  1. A dinner/movie date with my husband (or a cuddle session with one of the dogs if hubs is out of town)
  2. A spontaneous weekend escape to the beach
  3. A pedicure and/or massage
  4. Hot yoga (even better after a run)
  5. A catch-up session with a friend

Spending time working on your own happiness is imperative to achieving it. Obviously, there will be moments where you won’t be happy (and shouldn’t be) but in the times where it’s a choice to either let something slide or think on it all day, choosing to let it slide will get you to happiness 100 times faster. I’m making a deal with my husband to only talk about the good things that happened in a day for a week, and not complaining about the bad. Sometimes sharing feels good, but you’re not only letting other people thing you’re miserable, you tend to bring them down too.

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If you’re up for reading some excellent books on happiness, I recommend:

  1. The Happiness Project (Gretchin Rubin)  *follow up with Happier at Home if you need more!
  2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (Richard Carlson)
  3. Happy Wives Club (Fawn Weaver)

And my next book is “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie (thanks, Lo).

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Removing things from your life that make you unhappy is okay. You can’t make someone else want to be happy (although, I am still working on trying to find a way to do this). Spending time around negative energy doesn’t do anything positive for your own mental state. Happiness is a choice we make every day. When you wake up, tell yourself it is going to be a good day – and mean it. Do things that will make you happy throughout the day. Start with a breakfast that will give you energy (and is healthy!), take a walk if you need a break at work, have lunch with your other half or a friend (getting out of the office for lunch is a MUST – even if you’re eating what you packed at a picnic table – just don’t set at your desk!), plan time to workout or walk in the evening, do some stretching or reading to relax at night. Do whatever makes YOU happy. Life’s too short to not be happy.